Andy Murray ended a resurgent Richard Gasquet’s campaign in Miami, reaching the final for the third time.
It also was the first time Murray had beaten Gasquet in a best-of-three set match.
Gasquet started the brighter, with two holds to love, and breaking the first Murray serve, while Murray had started quite defensively, grinding out an early 31 shot rally.
Things improved with Murray taking the next two games, bringing things back on serve.
Murray failed to capitalise on a couple of Gasquet double-faults, but broke to love on Gasquet’s next service game.
However, coming out to serve for the set, Murray played a sloppy game, giving Gasquet the break back, with a double fault.
Bringing things to a tie-break, all it took was a single mini-break to put the Frenchman in a commanding position.
Gasquet deserved that set on his shot-making alone, in that tie-break, making it the first set Murray had dropped all week, despite having more winners than Gasquet in that set.
Murray started the second set with a bit more vigour, breaking Gasquet’s second service game to edge a lead.
Another break, and Murray was out to serve for the set again.
This time, there was no sloppiness, as Murray held to love, to take things into a decider.
Then, after breaking Gasquet in the first game of the third set, more sluggish serving and a badly timed double-fault on break point gave Gasquet a little hope, only for the Frenchman to get broken again.
Once again, Murray struck with a break late in the set, to come out serving for the match this time.
Murray was just too strong at the end, and will face Spain’s David David Ferrer in the final, who came through in three sets against renaissance-man, Tommy Haas.
Murray has started slowly in all his matches, and will need to get off to a more commanding start against a player like Ferrer, and has the motivation of the World No. 2 ranking if he takes the title.
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